May 20, 2009: SpiceCorp in NYC and No More Scranton

The media loves to glorify IT when times are good and scold it when times are bad. We are the whipping boy and the poster child, heroes and villains.

Today is the first meeting of SpiceCorp NY’s Manhattan Branch.  So that means that I need to leave the office on the early side today so that I can catch the train down to Manhattan to make the 6:30 meetings.  This is our second meeting of SpiceCorp NY but the first one in Manhattan.

It was a busy day because I had to complete as much as possible before four thirty.  That left me rushing for pretty much the entire day.  Too much to get done before the end of the day.

My article on Datamation is one of the headliners again today.  Three days in a row.  Awesome!

I was very discouraged to discover that the HP DL185 G5 that we had received was not the correct configuration and that we would need to get a new server sent out and will need to return this one.  Just more “stuff” that needs my constant attention.  Nothing is ever simple.

It is a warm day today.  Not at all what I need on the day that I need to go into the city.  I am always so hot whenever I am doing anything around Manhattan.  I can go for long walks in the hot sun up in the country but once I am in the city the heat just kills me.

Today is important for another reason.  Today is the very last day of our Scranton datacenter.  We have been using Scranton for years now and I have gotten used to driving in and out of Scranton to visit the datacenter.  Going out to Scranton late at night has become one of the few remnants of my old life of being the “on the road” It professional.  Scranton was an important mark along the highway between Ithaca and Washington D.C. as well as between New Jersey and Upstate New York.  I even worked in Scranton itself for Wegmans a few times.  But since 2005 the datacenter has been my only real reason to ever be in Scranton or along the i81 corridor at all.  Now that is going away as well.  It is truly the end of an era for me.  As of tonight everything in Scranton will have been transferred to Toronto.  In a week or two I will be making a final trip to Scranton to pick up all of the remaining equipment to bring back with me or, mostly, just to donate.

I tried to wrap up with work and make it to the Metro North train from Peekskill to Grand Central at twenty after four but that just wasn’t possible.  So I had to grad the train at eighteen after five which was cutting it really close.  It worked out well because I really did need more time at home to get ready and to get more work done before leaving and the early train would have been too early.  The meeting is right on Union Square so it is very easy to get there from the GCT.

The train ride down was very nice and I really appreciated the opportunity to read in my book for a while.  I am busy reading my latest Pragmatic Programmers title.  Always a joy.  It is so seldom that I now have time to just sit and read for an hour with nothing else about which to worry that it was positively fun.

I was only ten or fifteen minutes late when I got to the office on Union Square for the SpiceCorp NY meeting.  We ended up having an awesome turn out.  More people than I had anticipated coming.  We had a total of eleven after three people had cancelled.  Eight of those who came were not also at the NJ Branch meeting a few weeks ago so it was really exciting to have several new people there.

The discussion was really good tonight.  It was a really good group and we covered a lot of good stuff.  Well worth the time coming out.  Got to meet a lot of good people.  These meetings, I think, are going to continue to be a lot of fun and to be really valuable to everyone who attends.

After the meeting, Katie and I went out for fish on Union Square.  We had a really nice dinner.  It is not very often that I get a chance to eat out in the city anymore.  It was a nice change of pace.  Dominica knew that I was going to be really late.  Once I am taking the time to go into the city it is not worth rushing back at all.  Best to just make use of the time while there.

Dinner was great.  Katie had to run early to catch her last train.  I took my chances with not knowing the schedule and went for a later train.  We do not ride the same train but we do ride the same line.

I ended up getting the next train after Katie which was not too bad at all.  I was in Peekskill around twelve thirty and up to the house about one in the morning.  It takes a while to walk from the train, up the hill to the house.  It is a good thirty to forty-five minute walk if you are trying not to get completely sweaty.  It is a rather steep hill to be climbing with a backpack in business attire.

I worked for about half an hour and then headed to bed.  Dominica had stayed up waiting for me to get home reading on her new Kindle.

The shutdown of Scranton went smoothly tonight.  It is officially all done.  SGL readers, the regular ones at least, are aware that SGL moved out of Scranton some time ago and performance jumper measureably when we did.  Toronto is so much faster and more responsive.  It is a major load off of my mind no longer needing to worry about all of the problems that we have had with Scranton.  Now I just need to drive up there and pick up the remaining equipment.  My Netgear router there managed to go for the entire life of the deployment without ever needing to be rebooted a single time.  How is that for impressive?

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